The Sleeper's Blog

A collection of opinions on the events in the rail industry from Rail Technology Magazine's most feared reporter, ‘The Sleeper’.

Blending irreverence with a much-needed dose of reality, these morsels of spite keep passengers’ best interests at heart and prove the old adage that 'the truth hurts'.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editor.

Commuters close to taking government to court over Southern crisis

Commuters close to taking government to court over Southern crisis

06.01.17: A commuter organisation looking to take the DfT to court over its handling of the Southern rail crisis have said that their legal challenge is almost ready. The Association of British Commuters (ABC) hopes to submit its full application cal...

Putting passengers first at Paddington

Putting passengers first at Paddington

03.01.17: Tim Bellenger, director of policy and investigation at London TravelWatch, highlights how new integrated planning was adopted to minimise passenger disruptions in the capital this winter.  Over the festive period multiple engineering p...

Network Rail calls for vigilance on level crossings this Christmas

Network Rail calls for vigilance on level crossings this Christmas

23.12.16: Network Rail has issued a new call for vigilance by pedestrians after film footage has emerged of two cyclists narrowly avoiding death on level crossings.  The most recent incident took place on 12 November at Griffin Lane level crossi...

Orange Army Choristers release Christmas carol cover

Orange Army Choristers release Christmas carol cover

16.12.16: A group of Network Rail engineers set to work over Christmas have released a seasonal song to keep up the festive spirit. The Orange Army Choristers, engineers from Network Rail’s track team in Rugby, Warwickshire, have posted their 4...

Waterloo continues to top list of Britain’s busiest rail stations

Waterloo continues to top list of Britain’s busiest rail stations

06.12.16: More passengers passed through London Waterloo than any other station last year, the latest figures from the ORR show. In 2015-16, an estimated 99 million people entered and exited the station, a similar figure to the previous year. Overall...

'Mail Rail' trains tested to be revived as museum experience

'Mail Rail' trains tested to be revived as museum experience

02.12.16: Trains have run on the London Post Office Railway for the first time since the ‘Mail Rail’ service was abandoned over 10 years ago.  The ‘Mail Rail’ underground track, which has not been used since 2003, saw its...

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

29.11.16: A new initiative has been launched by London Transport Museum (LTM) to help tackle the UK’s shortage in engineers by encouraging children as young as three to consider a career in the sector. The museum’s ‘Enjoyment to Emp...

Jobs and skills boost in London – courtesy of Thameslink

Jobs and skills boost in London – courtesy of Thameslink

18.11.16: Over 250 jobseekers in London have gained new jobs or skills after getting involved in the Thameslink Programme, the multi-billion pound London railway upgrade which includes the complete rebuilding of London Bridge station by Network Rail. ...

Resounding call for supply chain certainty at TransCityRail

Resounding call for supply chain certainty at TransCityRail

11.11.16: Supply chain engagement and the future of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) were the key topics of debate at yesterday’s TransCityRail North conference and networking dinner. With more than 600 delegates in attendance for the black-tie d...

HS2 – The biggest single source of new jobs in UK infrastructure

HS2 – The biggest single source of new jobs in UK infrastructure

04.11.16: Ailie MacAdam, Bechtel’s rail sector lead and a director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL), comments on the job opportunities that HS2 offers and the economic benefits the project will bring. It’s official… HS2...

RTM celebrates its 100th issue

RTM celebrates its 100th issue

28.10.16: RTM is extremely proud to announce that today marks the publication of our 100th edition. This edition, wrapped in a special celebratory cover, represents a major milestone in our 18-year journey as Britain’s rail industry media leade...

Network Rail chooses Barnardo’s as charity partner

Network Rail chooses Barnardo’s as charity partner

26.10.16: Barnardo’s will be Network Rail’s Charity of Choice until March 2019, it was announced today. Network Rail will support the charity through fundraising, volunteering, gifts in kind and payroll giving. There’s no doubt...

If the Midlands makes the most of HS2, the UK will get most out of the Midlands

If the Midlands makes the most of HS2, the UK will get most out of the Midlands

25.10.16: Maria Machancoses, programme director at Midlands Connect and director at Midlands Engine, writes for RTM about the opportunities HS2 will create for the region and the country. According to transport secretary Chris Grayling, the first pha...

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

21.10.16: More than 15,000 potential train drivers have applied to drive Virgin’s new fleet of Azuma trains. Virgin said the applications, which closed on 14 October, equated to nearly 200 for each of the 78 posts, the biggest recruitment drive...

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

18.10.16: Star Olympic and Paralympic athletes travelled from Manchester to London for victory celebrations thanks to free transport from the rail industry. The athletes took part in a parade in Manchester yesterday to celebrate their achievements, a...

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latest rail news

Network Rail seeks £45m integration partner for ECML digital railway

20/11/2018Network Rail seeks £45m integration partner for ECML digital railway

Network Rail has today launched the search for a private-sector partner to deliver a major digital railway transformation across the East Coast M... more >
ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

20/11/2018ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

The ORR has today launched a review into the role of Delay Repay claims companies in assisting customers with compensation claims when their rail... more >
Greater Anglia installs innovative WSP braking system across rural services

20/11/2018Greater Anglia installs innovative WSP braking system across rural services

Greater Anglia has fitted an innovative new braking system known as Wheel Slide Protection (WSP) to more of the rural trains across its network. ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, CrossCountry and the Scouts have come together to encourage Britain’s younger generations to be... more > more last word articles >
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'the sleepers' daily blog

Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

20/11/2018Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

Since the shock announcement of the delay to Crossrail in September, taxpayers and decision-makers alike have been anxious to find out the latest updates to the two projects. RTM’s Jack Donnelly headed to Whitehall to report on what their bosses have to say about the schemes. Despite noting the “great frustration” of Lon... more >
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comment

Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >
Maintaining light rail

20/11/2018Maintaining light rail

Dr Adam Bevan, Professor Paul Allen and Professor Jay Jaiswal, of the Institute of Railway Research, take a look at new rail asset management tec... more >
dessan Design in the digital railway

20/11/2018dessan Design in the digital railway

Denise Watkins, business development manager at Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe (HICSE), discusses her organisation’s exciting n... more >
Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >

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interviews

HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >